Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a powerful book that was hard to get through but hard to put down at the same time. There were so many emotions going through me as I read each chapter, which was each side of the tapes left by Hannah, an emotionally disturbed teen who felt suicide was her only way out of a deep depression she was in. As we hear her tell her tale to those she felt were responsible for causing her to sink, we learned a lot about Hannah and these characters who may not have known just how much their words and actions affected her, until it was their turn to read the tapes.
The other part of the story I felt was very compelling was Clay's reaction as he listened to the tapes. Clay obviously cared for Hannah, more than she knew. His reactions to hearing her stories, and remembering events at the times, were sometimes gut-wrenching.
But it was the hard-core emotions of Hannah and Chase that wouldn't allow me to put the book down. This book really touched me on a deep level. As I kept reading, I couldn't help but wish there was a way to help Hannah. I kept thinking, "Someone please talk to this girl before something bad happens." Then I remembered: It already had.
I thought Asher's idea to write the book from Hannah's own words on the tapes she left behind was ingenious. I've never read a book like this before. The closest I can think of is "Dear Mr. Henshaw" by Beverly Cleary, which was comprised of letters sent back and forth from a fan to an author. But Hannah's tapes were more powerful than if Asher had used letters instead, because Chase had to hear her voice and her emotions as she told her tales.
The book had a very powerful message about depression, suicide, and how humans affect one another more than we might think we do.
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